Online marketplace Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd, majority-owned by China’s Alibaba Group Holdings, has inducted SAIF Partner’s Ravi Adusumalli and four top executives from Alibaba as its board of directors, a financial daily reported.
The new members of the board from Alibaba Group include the e-commerce giant’s senior director of finance Jason Pak Tung Yip; secretary and general counsel at Alibaba Group Holding, Timothy A Steinert; former director of Alibaba.com Europe and present executive director at Alibaba Entrepreneurs Hong Kong, Mei Ki Cindy Chow Lok; and chief executive of Alibaba’s payments affiliate Ant Financial, Jing Xiandong, The Economic Times reported citing filings made with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).
The newly-elected five members will join Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and vice president Amit Sinha on the board, the report added.
E-mail queries sent to Paytm seeking confirmation did not elicit a response at the time of filing this report.
Last year, Noida-based One97 Communications Ltd separated its e-commerce and payments businesses as Paytm E-Commerce and Paytm Payments Bank Ltd, respectively.
Marking its formal entry into India’s e-commerce segment, Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba invested $177 million (Rs 1,182 crore) in Paytm E-Commerce in March this year. Existing investor SAIF Partners also backed the firm in the round, taking the total investment to $200 million (Rs 1,334 crore). The funding increased the stake of Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial (the parent company of Alipay) in the e-commerce vertical from 40% to 62%. The deal reportedly valued Paytm E-Commerce at close to $1 billion.
Paytm is working out various strategies for its e-commerce wing to compete with heavily funded market leaders Flipkart and Amazon. It recently launched an online-to-offline (O2O) strategy to tap offline customers at brick-and-mortar stores. It is also pushing a quick response (QR) code-based system on its recently-launched app and website. Customers can now shop from Paytm Mall by scanning the QR code given by the online marketplace to its offline merchant partners.